In my view, each day is an opportunity to make life anew. I often help people to create something new when I hear a story repeated again and again.
Even if I am hearing a story for the first time, I can feel the resonance of an oft-repeated saga. I start to yawn as I hear or see the needle move along the groove. Truthfully, whether this is a wonderful story or a not-wonderful story, I can feel or hear or see the pattern. My awareness is heightened when the oft-repeated story recounts a situation the person does not wish to recreate.
Now, let me quickly say that I have experienced some incredibly engaging story tellers who do not bore me with their repeated stories. When the story teller is engaged with the creation of the story and sees it as new, the listener is more easily engaged. The master story teller lives a story as if it is being told for the very first time, created right now in this moment. Sometimes the master story teller plays with the listener or listeners in a magical in-the-moment way. So, there is story telling and there is story telling.
Perhaps it is risky to go on record saying that I am bored by the repetition of a story. Clients who work with me in one-on-one sessions know that I do not encourage their telling disempowering stories. Sometimes they just need to tell it one more time to someone who is able to listen deeply.
When a caring person listens deeply to a disempowering story, the pain can dissipate for the speaker. When I say “listens deeply” I refer to a skill that is rarely practiced. I mean that the listener is truly with the speaker, not sympathizing and not being reminded of another, similar situation. And certainly not giving advice or telling his or her own story! I mean the deep listener listens attentively in as many ways as possible, fully present, fully in the moment.
When the deep listener gets sucked into the drama, listening is no longer happening. The listener now colludes in creating more of the same rather than in helping the person to accept that life is created anew in each moment. The future is created by the present.
Whatever you give your attention to expands. Your focus of attention is your key to happiness. You may forget this dynamic from time to time. That is one of the values of having a listener who cares enough to interrupt a destructive pattern. You argue for limitations when you try to prove how “bad it is” by retelling a disempowering story. It is a pattern worthy of interrupting.
It is the rut-producing story-telling which creates more unwanted situations that inspires me to say: “Stop! Make it new!” Or, “Can you say that in a way you have not said that before?”
Every single moment of your life represents an opportunity for a new beginning. Every in-breath begins life anew; every out-breath releases the past. Every minute you are different from the minute before, with new cells, new energy, new life. Future experiences are not created by past experience, but by your current thoughts and feelings about those experiences.